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Top 10 Most Expensive Guitars in the World

Whether you are a professional musician or an average guitar collector, you know that this musical instrument can have very expensive price tags.

Expensive guitars usually come in high-quality wood, well-crafted pick-ups, and durable strings. It must also have the best quality to climb up the ranks in the list of the most expensive guitars in the world.

But you must not expect to see any of these guitars in the local music supply stores. These are not only extravagant, they are very rare as well.

Some of these guitars are once owned by legendary Rock and Roll greats like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. The custom-designed instruments for Jerry Garcia also made the list. Here are the top 10 grandiose guitars that you can find in the world.

Top 10 Most Expensive Guitars Worldwide

The names of the guitars and other valuable information mentioned in the list are compiled from different Internet sources, including String Joy, Money Inc., and Guitar Player.

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These are the top 10 most expensive guitars that you can find in the world.

#10: Custom Dough Irwin “Tiger” For Jerry Garcia 

Price: $957,500

Grateful Dead’s lead guitarist Jerry Garcia performed using his custom-made Doug Irwin guitar from 1979 to 1989.

It was dubbed as the “Tiger” after the custom painting of a tiger head that Jerry commissioned to decorate the guitar’s body.

This custom-made Doug Irwin was the last instrument that Jerry ever played with in public. It is the reason why it reached the staggering amount at the Guernsey’s auction. It was purchased by Indianapolis Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay in 2002.

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#9: Eric Clapton’s “Blackie”

Price: $959,000

The next guitar on the list is Eric Clapton’s famous guitar called Blackie. It is legendary in the guitar world for composing all the best parts of three separate guitars.

Reports claimed that “Tears in Heaven” singer bought six different guitars and gave each to George Harrison, Pete Townsend, and Steve Linwood. Then the remaining three guitars are patched together to create Blackie.

It became Clapton’s most prominent guitar. He used it to record in studios and played with during numerous live performances.

After long years of performance, the British musician retired Blackie in 1985. It was sold in an auction for $959,000 in 2004.

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#8: The “Newport Folk Festival” 1964 Fender Stratocaster Of Bob Dylan

Price: $965,000

This 1964 Fender Stratocaster was the first electric guitar used by best-selling musician Bob Dylan during a live performance, which is why this instrument has some serious historical value.

It was debuted when his fans booed his performance on stage because they were not happy with his guitar choice.

The fans were more comfortable listening to the acoustic versions of his songs, which is why they let him know how they felt when he went out on stage during the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

Because of his performance and guitar choice during the event, Dylan demonstrated his transition to using electronic instruments during his succeeding performances. This history propelled the guitar to sell at an auction for $965,000.

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#7: 1959 Les Paul of Keith Richards

Price: $1 Million

The regular 1959 Les Paul is already worth thousands of dollars because of its quality and craftsmanship. But since the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist owns it, it reached the million-dollar mark.

Richards played this specific guitar during the band’s debut performance on the iconic Ed Sullivan show. It was considered as a special moment in the entire Rock and Roll history.

#6: 1958 Gibson Korina Explorer 

Price: $1.1 Million

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This special 1958 Gibson Korina Explorer got the staggering value after being used by three of the world’s greatest guitarists. According to reports, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen all used this guitar at one point in their musical careers.

Since there are only 10 Gibson Korina Explorer made globally, you can expect that its rarity and unique shape made it one of the most expensive musical instruments in history.

#5: Washburn 22-Series Hawk by Bob Marley

Price: $1.2 Million

Despite being the most popular and influential reggae artist in history, Marley only owned seven guitars in his life. One of which is the 22-Series Hawk Washburn, which he, later on, gave to his guitar technician Gary Clausen.

Rumors claimed Jamaica’s government, which stated that the guitar is a national treasure, bought it $1.2 million to $2 million. However, the exact whereabouts of the guitar is still a mystery to this day.

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#4 The “Wolf” Of Jerry Garcia

Price: $1.9 Million

Jerry Garcia has another guitar on top of the list of the most expensive guitars in history. This time the custom Doug Irwin is called the “Wolf.”

Just like the Tiger, this guitar got its name from the artwork on its body.

The sales of the guitar were included in the fundraiser for the Southern Poverty Law Centre. The auctioneers managed to sell it at almost $2 million.

#3: 1968 Fender Stratocaster of Jimi Hendrix

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Price: $2 Million

While the stock Stratocaster with Olympius may not look impressive compared to this list’s other inclusions, it is still part of history that kids these days have no idea what these are.

Hendrix played this instrument during the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, where he performed the legendary “The Sta-Spangled Banner.”

Due to its one of a kind history, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen bought this guitar for $2 million in 1998.

#2: 1962 Gibson J-160E Acoustic-Electric of John Lennon

Price: $2.4 Million

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This guitar is the only acoustic musical instrument that made a list. This 1962 Gibson J-160 E was only one of a pair of an almost similar guitar that Lennon purchased with George Harrison in 1962 in London.

It is used to compose some of the most popular songs of the Beatles, including “She Loves You” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” The guitar got lost after a gig in 1963, it resurfaced again and valued at $2.4 Million.

#1: “Reach Out To Asia” Fender Stratocaster

Price: $2.7 Million

Bryan Adams managed to sell his Fender Stratocaster for $2.7 million as part of his efforts to help the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake survivors.

Adams, who called the project “Reach Out To Asia,” asked nineteen artists to sign their autographs in the guitar. The list of artists who joined include Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Brian May, David Gilmour, Liam Gallagher, Angus and Malcolm Young, and Brian Adams.

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Sotheby’s sold the guitar for $2.7 million.

Summary

We hope that you like this list of the topmost expensive guitars in the world.

It showed that the previous owners’ names and their interesting history could add more value to the musical instrument.

With guitars, the name of its former user can be a huge factor in its price. Since you are buying a piece of history, you need to shell out your money for this.

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Written By Riley Brown

Riley is a finance, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in San Diego. He received his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Multimedia from the University of Oregon. His work has been featured in many finance and lifestyle publications throughout the US. When he is not writing, Riley enjoys reading and hanging out at the beach with his dog.

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